James Lipton

James Lipton discusses the Oscars, and Bradley Cooper's emotional return to the Actors Studio.

on Mar 3, 2011

Did you watch the Oscars? Inside the Actors Studio was "there," as it is every year. This time five of the nominees, and two of the winners, were Inside the Actors Studio alumni. During the weeks when the Academy voters were marking their ballots, we shot and aired James Franco and Colin Firth, and previously we had shot and aired Natalie Portman, Jeff Bridges, and Mark Ruffalo.

All of them were nominated, James co-hosted the Oscars, and, as you know, Colin and Natalie took home the Best Actor honors. We take a certain amount of pride in this. And the common wisdom in Hollywood is that we're entitled to some of the credit. Some movie studios and PR firms have expressed the view that our show is the most reliable path to the Oscar because of the number of Academy voters who watch it.

Maybe I'm exaggerating our importance, but the fact is that every November the calls and emails start coming in to our office: "Can we get Ms. X or Mr. Y on Inside the Actors Studio during the Academy voting period?" We do everything we can to accommodate them, and they usually win. One year, when the names were announced, it turned out that we had aired all four acting winners, Leading and Supporting, so maybe there's a connection. I hope you'll forgive me for thinking there is.